Monday, 28 February 2011

A change for the better

Right, I can tell you more about the erotic abstract now.....

I was happy that I had finished it the first time, but the woman who I had done it for found it confusing in parts, and I realised over subsequent conversations with her that I had probably made it overly complicated in trying to hide the image. Her kids had seen it and had only seen colourful shapes, pointing out the fish, witch, birds wing and other outlines and missing the main picture, because it was only shapes. As it turned out, the adults I'd created it for seemed to have the same problem!!!! 

Mmm.... rethink!

I'd already said that it was no problem to change the colours and shapes to make it more obvious. I stood infront of it with the woman who it was created for and asked her what she could see. She told me, and although there were three people in the picture she could only see half of one of them in effect...  Ok, then I need to do some more work on it.

The next day I started tweaking it, and spent another four hours adjusting various parts to make it more readable. And showed the woman again. She looked at it, and her first response was that I hadn't made any changes, and then she looked a little further, and again, seeing the nuances of it,  and stood with a grin and said "I can see it now!". Phew, that was a relief! I smiled, and looked back at it, as she did, and I was pleased that she can now look at it and see the eroticism of the image. Although, innocent eyes will still only see innocence.......

And just to add to the rest of the story, she texted me this morning to thank me for the extra work I had done on it, and to say that she had read my blog from the other day when I wrote about making the changes, and NOW she could see the erotic shapes as I had planned in the ORIGINAL image. I laughed in disbelief, and she went on to say, that now that I had made the changes to the painting it had trained her eyes more, so that she could see the first image far clearer. I can understand that. And I am hugely relieved that she doesn't want me to continue painting to return it back to how it was! She understands, as I do, that the second version has taught her how to read it clearer!

So, on to explaining more about it, and to show you the finished version. The definitive version! Which, I know is still abstract and still "just shapes" - but if you look at the original working drawing, you will see instantly what the image is, and why it is erotic. There are three people in the picture, two women, and one man. The women are lying on top of the man, which is why you can't see him clearer. His hand is clear on the right hand side, as it rests on the back of the woman on the right. His other arm is actually the strange shape behind the woman on the left, his hand is caressing her neck, although the arm is only visible to the wrist. His head and neck are behind the arm of the woman on the left in the top centre of the picture, his legs are visible - one between the legs of the two women, and the other under the woman on the rights thigh. His cock is the strange shape in the middle of the picture, above the thigh of the woman on the right. His stomach is above, between the knees of the woman on the left, and the breast and stomach of the woman on the right.  As you have probably realised by now, the two women are caressing, but only using one hand each, on the arm of the other woman. I realised when I started working on the design that if I had heads, hands, and feet within the picture it would be pretty obvious what it was, and what was happening. So, I cropped the image, and that made the image more abstract straight away. Merging some shapes, and disguising the obvious shapes by adding extra distinctive ones, led the eye away from the image a little more. Having a limited colour scheme helped, and adding red and silver and black made the image more dramatic, and gave the viewers brain something to look at and question.

There are actually a lot of the original lines from the working drawing used in the finished painting. You have to look closely to see where they are, and as I said, I have purposely tried to hide them anyway.

So, that's it then. Done! And hopefully no more changes....... its erotic enough, and hidden enough as it is.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Unexpected changes

I really enjoyed chatting to the journalist from the Burton Mail the other day. I was pleased he'd given me 20 hours to mull over the questions, because that meant I could give him some indepth answers. But then his questions were very deeply personal ones as well.

It was a real fun thing to do, and we went through the answers over the phone. But I had to give him a pre-warning before we'd even started........

Some of the answers had been changed, to ones that were more a little more, well, suitable for a family newspaper.   Ok, he said with a laugh.... and we started with the questions....

Where and when I was born, hobbies, favourite food (which he was surprised about since my choice wasn't a typical one), favourite book (again a surprise for him since he'd never heard of it) and favourite film (I did really well and narrowed it down to four from about twenty! Since I've never had the just one answer!). Proudest moment, biggest inspiration, biggest love, favourite belonging, most embarrassing moment, hopes for the future, what I'd like to have written on my epitaph, but it was when we got to biggest and best achievement that we had the biggest problem. Because I was emphatic on my answer, and knew that he would struggle to put it in the paper. When I explained, he said that he himself was ok about it, but the paper wouldn't be. Ok, then, how do we phrase it so that they are happy with it, because this is definitely my answer. Ok......  I told him how I would word it, and asked him which part he wasn't happy about, and it was the one word I was expecting, the rest was ok. So, we had to write it so that I got the point across without spelling it all out in exact wording to make the vicar blush! 

At the end of the session, he had a word count and was surprised that it was 600 odd, and that left him with a problem since it had to be 420. Ok, a bit of editing needed to be done then! Between us we went through what he had written, and he apologised for the fact we had to cut my words down, and he said that normally people don't put enough words in and it needs padding out. I said I could have easily doubled it, and had struggled in the first place to cut it down to make it more succinct! We worked on the phrasing, and between us got it down to 420 words. I said to him that he was the expert wordsmith and should know how to do it naturally, but as I worked through it he said I did it easily, and I grinned over the phone and said I wrote a blog post two or three days a week so was used to it!

I enjoyed chatting to him very much, and have a feeling we'll chat again.

Oh, and the thing that I feel is my biggest and best achievement, and the thing we had problems with? Well, it was the Fantasy Fannies, of course! LOL
I think we rephrased it to something like "feminine abstracts" which sort of hinted at it, without it being a problem for the paper!!!!

And whilst I'm on unexpected changes, I have offered to make a few subtle changes to the erotic abstract that I finished the other week, since the woman I did it for finds it a little perplexing still. Now, don't get me wrong, she knows exactly what is in the picture, and why, but she can only see parts of the image. It seems like I've made it overly complicated! We had discussed it a number of times, and I wanted her to look at it and be happy with it, not frustrated and confused, so I offered to make it a little more obvious, and she gratefully accepted. I shall do them infront of her and explain the changes first so that she can see what I'm going to do. Her children can't see anything in it but blobs and erratic shapes, so adding a few more blobs shouldn't make it less so, but it might make it a little more obviously erotic.......

I'll show you when I've done it, and explain a little about it for you.................

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Quietly questioning, and all that it entails!

Although I'm busy finalising the planning for the painting I'm doing, I also need to think long and hard about the talk I'm doing at the library at Burton on Trent in less than a fortnight's time.

I've got my talk half written, but it needs to be more succinct, and I need to have it as word perfect as I can, for the night.

So, to that end, I went for a walk, deciding that physical movement would be more conducive to evaluating thought processes.

It didn't matter that it was raining.

It seemed to add to it, somehow, so I didn't bother taking an umbrella, and expected to come back drenched. I didn't, in the end, get totally drenched, but I was certainly a little moist around the edges! But, I was definitely  more mentally focused, because of it, so that was good! I spent the forty minutes of walking going through the talk, and thinking of the order of the way I wanted to say things.

And hadn't been back long, well, long enough for me to dry off, change my wet jeans, make a cup of tea, and think about what I was going to do next, before the phone rang.

It was a journalist from the Burton Mail paper, wanting a chat about the talk I shall be doing at the library, as he's going to be writing a piece for the paper and although he already had a press release about me, he wanted a bit more information to pad it out a bit.

We talked easily and he asked me what my feelings were about doing the talk for the library and I told him how proud I was as a woman artist to be part of the celebrations for International Womens Day, and talked a bit about my art, my life, and how it was helping me to focus again after the challenges and traumas of last year. He listened, and asked a few questions, and wrote as I spoke. Then he paused, and asked me if I'd like to be involved in a feature the paper does regularly, asking the same questions of all manner of people in the news at the moment. I said I'd gladly like to answer his questions, and we made an arrangement for him to call me back in the very near future.

And then I voiced the question that was paramount in my head.

"And are you going to give me prior notice of the questions, or do I just have to answer them when you ask them?"

He chuckled, and said that of course he'd give me the questions beforehand, as the answers would be better if I could mull them over first.

And told me what they were.......

Where was I born and bred?
Favourite book, film, food?
Proudest moment?
Most embarrassing moment?
Biggest inspiration?
Hopes for the future?
Biggest/best achievement?
If you ruled the world.......................
Pet hate
Greatest love
Favourite belonging?
Perfect night in/out?
What would your epitaph say?

Phew! So, nothing much there that's easy then! I don't even know that I can narrow my favourite film down to JUST the one! At least I know where I was born, and what my favourite food is, but the rest of it...MMmm... deep stuff!

And, just to make it even harder, some of it can't be mentioned in a family newspaper....... unless I can word it a little differently......Well, I AM an Erotic Artist after all !!!!   LOL

Monday, 21 February 2011

Music and movement

I don't like to rush the design stage of a painting. Having said that by the time its come to me, its quite easy to sketch some ideas out to see how they work, and then adjust the colours or tones accordingly to make the painting better in as many ways that I can. But the basic concept will usually remain the same from the original thoughts.

The painting I'm working on at the moment, is the oil painting commission of the Royal Crescent at Bath, with various people, alive and dead, within the picture. The painting won't be fully representational, but also it won't be fully abstract either, but an amalgam of them both. But it will also have more of a surreality to it as well, in that the wind that is blowing around the people within the picture comes from the two much beloved people within the clouds of the sky. That is the concept. It took three full days last week for me to get to the point of being happy with it, along with a couple of long phone calls with the clients, in Bath, to agree the design and make any adjustments accordingly. I know the days were intense, because I woke a couple of times in the night (a rarity!) with ideas rushing around my head, and thoughts for the planning stage fresh and running free.

The reason it was done that way, was because the clients are going on holiday for a fortnight, and I didn't want to have to put the painting on hold whilst I awaited for their return. By having three very intense days of designing it, it means that it has freed me more for the week ahead and being able to plan the colours at my leisure. When I asked the client what colour palette he wanted - the reply was that he'd sent me photos of the room, so I could see where the painting was going to hang, and since I was the expert, and he'd already given me the brief, he wanted to leave me to make the final decisions and didn't want to interfere with those decisions, giving me free rein.

So, after emailing him the first design and then hearing his thoughts on it, adjusting the second design accordingly the next day and emailing him that drawing with the new changes, he loves it! And I've got the go ahead! Yay!

That always makes me happy, when it's all positive and upbeat.

The client said "That didn't take long, did it?" and I smiled! But he was right, and more to the point, he was happy. And that is what I'm aiming for, always!

So, now, I can think of the colours. I know to a degree what they will be - cream, brown, plum, black, red, and silver. And I know the silver will be the wind, blowing diagonally across the painting, full of love, and connecting the people, but also with a power, a spiritual power, as well as a physical one.  I don't think at the moment that anything else in the picture needs to be silver, as that will detract from the wind and that is one of the most important aspects of the painting. So, the next stage will be working out the layout of colours for dramatic effect. As the painting certainly will be dramatic, and it also needs to stand proud from the heavy and dark Georgian style wallpaper that it will hang against.

Then, I can start painting it, properly.

But yesterday, I did something that although not obviously connected with the painting, it is something that will affect it, totally and absolutely. Fully, and instantly.

It was my choice of music, for my iPod.

Loud, rocking, with good rhythm, and the stuff that instantly fires me up!!!!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Four hundred and blustery

Four hundred.

Four hundred with this one.

Blog posts that is, that I've written since I started in March 2007. Its almost the anniversary of that coming up soon too, and I still love it as much now as I did then. Perhaps more so, because more people comment on it in real life.

So, what am I going to talk about today?


I was at an art meeting last night for one of the art groups I'm a member of. And we'd discussed various things to do with forthcoming exhibitions, finding new venues, new members wanting to join, the usual stuff of artist groups. And we'd got to the point towards the end of the meeting when other people were discussing subjects that didn't really relate to anything that I needed to put any input into, and my mind wandered it does to us all when we have free moments.....

The woman opposite me, who is someone who is used to me smiling at her and making funny comments, looked over at me, and commented on how serious I looked, and I said quietly "I'm thinking".......

I didn't have chance to tell her later on what I was thinking of, though.
And she'd have probably thought it very odd if I had!

It was wind.

Not wind as in the embarrassing trapped body sort of wind, wind as it weather.
And more to the point, how I was going to capture it within the painting I'm working on at the moment.

Because part of the brief for the landscape painting is that it is Autumn, and there are leaves blowing, and that there is wind.

Which is fine, because that's easy enough, to paint blowing leaves to emulate wind. But, it's far more than that, because this painting is abstract. So, that makes it more difficult to depict. Because I need to show the wind, within the paint. But, last night, whilst thinking, I think I may have found a way of doing it! A way that makes me happy that I've got it right, and that it will work as a concept.

And it involves black paint, and also silver paint.

And just to excite me even more, the art supplies that I ordered last weekend arrived this morning with a friendly van driver. He brought me a large canvas to work on, and some paint...various colours of oil paint....... some of it............ in silver!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Connecting Adsheads fifty years apart

My friend Stuart rang me yesterday to tell me I was mentioned in a local East Midlands paper, the Derby Telegraph.

He had written a long article for the paper reminiscing about his wedding 50 years ago comparing it to the prices and times of nowadays. He regularly writes articles for their "Bygones" features describing his life and the things he remembers of his childhood and younger days working for a bookmakers by the name of  Norton Adshead in Burton on Trent. I asked him if he could get me a copy and he said he'd already got one and would send the relevant sheets on to me...... and they duly arrived this morning.

I read it with a mixture of warmth and general happiness as he writes informatively and interestingly about his life. But it was the final couple of paragraphs of the article that caught my attention most...

"I have recently tried my hand at being a life model for a talented local artist. By a strange coincidence, her name is Jackie Adshead, but she has no connection with my former employer.

I found it a very interesting experience but really hard work. She has drawn six nude studies of me of which I am very proud. There's life in the old dog yet!"

I'll ring him later to thank him for the article, and the mention, but I know how much he loves the drawings I've done of him, as he shows them to everyone in his life close and far. I think he's a wonderful example of trying new things even later on in life, and enjoying the contact of communication. Cheers Stuart!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Batch theory

I have a theory, well, I have many actually, but this is one that always seems to be true in my life. That things happen in batches, and also don't happen in batches as well. Let me explain........

This week is a busy week for me, I'm sorting out various things that need time and input from me, which is all fine, because I like to be busy. But I knew that I needed to pop into the library at Burton on Trent to discuss the talk I shall be doing there in three weeks time. I knew it would help me to see the venue, and suss out where I should be standing and hear what would be needed from me. I've half written my piece, so that's not a problem although I have noticed that the time slot fluctuates in various conversations, between ten-fifteen-twenty minutes that I need to talk for! So that needs to be finalised fully. The librarians are friendly and pleasant and the two I know best there were helpful in their advice and support as we discussed the event and the date for International Women's Day. I came away happy that I knew what was expected of me. And went in search of a suitable top to buy to wear for an Erotic Artist doing a talk to a group of people who might be vaguely interested. Perhaps they're expecting something sexy but paint splattered!!!!

And as well as that I have been asked to paint a commission. Which is great. I love commissions, unlike a lot of artists. I received an email the other day mentioning it and enquiring about prices, which I replied to and was delighted when it was accepted. And I loved the fact that it was inspired in a way from the erotic abstract that I showed you the other week of browns, purples, silver, red and creams, although the subject matter is totally different and not erotic at all, although it does depict love......... in various forms......

The commission is quite specific, which is good for me, and means I know what is expected of me. It will be a landscape of a beautiful famous place in England. It will depict two people in the fore-ground with their pets. It will feature the parents of one of them, and their pet. It will also depict the dead brother of one of them, and the dead mother of the other, as spiritual beings looking down at them. And there will be eyes and happiness depicted in the painting possibly within the trees. And weather, Autumnal weather with wind. And a cloudy forbidding sky. And it will be vibrant and dramatic. And just to add to that it will be abstract. So a abstract/surreal/fantasy/spiritual painting of a famous landscape.

Which is very exciting for me to do.

But just to add to it, to make it incredibly poignant for me......the dead brother was actually one of my closest friends.............................

Does that make it easier or harder, I wonder.

And I think the answer is "Easier".

Because I loved him, as a friend. He was one of the nicest men I've ever known, and he was and is deeply loved by his brother who has commissioned this painting. And he is deeply loved by his parents who will be featured in this painting.

There will be a lot of love within it.

As well as weather!

I'm so going to enjoy doing this.


I was going to make this blog post about the erotic abstract I showed you last week and explain a bit more about it and how it was designed and how I created it, but I'll leave it for another time, soon....

And I was also going to tell you about my friend, the local historian writer, Stuart, who gave me a beautiful Camellia from his well established garden, this week, which I shall love having in my new garden. I have planted it in a large blue ceramic pot which is outside my front door, and when the yellow and cream blooms appear they will compliment the pot beautifully. I will enjoy having it very much and shall treasure it as a gift from my friend.

You see, I've got so much to tell you!

I bet next week nothing happens!

Its the batch theory, you see!!! LOL

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Does anyone else do this, or is it just me?

After doing a bit of shopping yesterday I returned home, pleased with my clothing purchases.  I'd found three tops in the sales that I liked - two of which are more "arty" in that they are highly patterned and brightly coloured.  I particularly liked one of them as it has various shades of pinks and blues in it,  and plan to wear it for my talk at Burton Library in a few weeks time.

But the third top was a bright turquoise, a plain turquoise, and a colour I adore.

I hung it in the wardrobe without thinking, and turned away....

Then turned back.

No, that's not right.

I've gotta move it.

It couldn't hang there, where it was.

I moved it along to another setting, and studied its new place.

Then quickly moved other tops on hangers around too.

That's better!

Much better.

They're all in the right place now.

You see I'd put the turquoise one next to a red one, which was next to a pale green one, which was next to an orange one, which was next to a blue one.

And that wasn't right.

But by the time I'd finished........ they were in this order

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet...........

With the turquoise one between the greens and blues, where it belonged!

Is it just me, as an artist, who has to put colours in rainbow order for me to feel more at ease with them? LOL

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Competition answers

Thankyou for the interest in this little competition - both here as comments and privately by email.

Right then, here they are the answers to the competition of the erotic abstract that looks like an abstract:

1. How many people are in the picture?     Three

2. How many men are in the picture?     One

3. How many women are in the picture?     Two

4. How many hands are in the picture?    Three

5. How many breasts are in the picture?    One

6. How many fannies are in the picture?   None, but there is just part of one visible
7. How many cocks are in the picture?     One

8. How many bums are in the picture?     Two

9. What is the red shape at the top left hand side?   the man's arm and wrist

10. What is the red shape directly in the middle of the picture?   The shadow under one woman's arm and the shadow of the other woman's knees.

So it looks like I get to keep my painting of "Kiss" then, since no one guessed correctly!

And I bet you're now looking at it again and thinking how? what? where?

I'll explain all soon, but in the meantime it will help you to know that there aren't any full heads in the picture (although parts of two are visible) and no feet.

Does that help? Probably not!!!! LOL

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Competition - spot the naughtiness!

Right then, here it is - the erotic abstract I've been working on, unveiled at last.

It looks like an abstract. That's because it IS an abstract. Tee hee....
But, it is an erotic abstract. So that means that there's more to look at. Far more.
I have purposefully hidden the erotic aspect so that those who don't know, will only look at it and see brightly coloured shapes. But there are still a lot of the original lines and shapes within the picture that are showing the true image. I think I've made a good job of hiding the image, but I'd like to put it to the test. So, I will have a little bet with you, a little wager, to see if I am right.

All you have to do is answer these 10 little questions here:

1. How many people are in the picture?
2. How many men are in the picture?
3. How many women are in the picture?
4. How many hands are in the picture?
5. How many breasts are in the picture?
6. How many fannies are in the picture?
7. How many cocks are in the picture?
8. How many bums are in the picture?
9. What is the red shape at the top left hand side?
10. What is the red shape directly in the middle of the picture?

The prize is one of my paintings. It's this one here - and is entitled "Kiss" - It's 15 x 11 inches on block canvas and it is valued at £320. Everyone I know who's seen it loves this painting, as it's fun and sexy, but you can hang it on your wall and its acceptably erotic so even your granny wouldn't be upset by it! And it will go to the first person who can correctly answer the above questions, either by an email directly to me at or as a blog comment below. The competition deadline is midnight Sunday 6th February 2011. So, you've got a few days to study it.......

And just to get you started off, because I'm kind, one of the answers is given in a previous blog post earlier this year........